Many webmasters use discussion software in order to create online forums on their websites. Online forums are one of the most popular ways for users to exchange information, and the most common one most people will encounter is the help forum. Familiar to most users seeking support, the webmaster, using forum software, will set up a support forum where users can post their questions and receive answers and advice from other users.
Internet forum software works on the server side of a website - that is, it operates on the central server where the website is hosted. PHP and pearl forum software is the most common. There are both commercial and free types of forum software, and any webmaster looking for good discussion software should belooking for something that supports threading and searching. More advanced software can support image attachment with user posts and other goodies.
When setting up a web forum the most important thing for a webmaster, obviously, is the programming language the forum uses and the language his or her web hosting provider provides support with. For example, if your website is hosted on a system supporting the perl language, then pearl forum software is what the webmaster would be looking for.
Once a webmaster has determined what discussion software is supported by his or her web hosting provider, he simply has to select the forum software that most suits his needs. He must decide, for example, if he wants users to register to be able to post in the forums, and find forum software that allows for this. One of the benefits of registration is that the registration is tied to an email address, so the webmaster, through his forum software, is provided with a mailing list that may prove useful in the future for increasing awareness of a product or service he is providing. The other benefit of registration is that it prevents, to a large extent, spamming and unsolicited advertisements in forums. This is why almost all forum software requires registration.
By creating a forum on his or her website, a webmaster can dramatically increase his web traffic. Forums can be very useful, and quality forums can become extremely popular, whether they exist for support purposes or for some sort of community discussion. A good example of forum software being used to a webmasters advantage is the recent proliferation of websites and forums geared towards helping users convert various downloaded video files into files they can view on a DVD player. This is a complicated process in which many users have questions or need assistance, and the most popular assistance forums attract a large amount of web traffic which creates high ad revenue for the webmaster.
A webmaster can use forum software to increase ad revenue, to increase awareness of a certain topic, or simply to create a forum for the benefit of a certain community. Whatever his or her motivations are, a web master using forum software can easily set a online forum that can greatly benefit the visitors to his or her site.